Saints move on, Trojans out
Saints' Jacy Ross drives the net during the girls' big playoff win Monday night in Portage la Prairie. The Saints semifinal match is Wednesday in Winnipeg. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
The girls are moving on.
Portage Collegiate Institute’s varsity basketball teams saw different outcomes Monday night as the Saints punched a ticket to the West Winnipeg Athletic Conference Tier 2 semifinal by defeating Westwood 69-39 in Portage while the Trojans fell 100-71 to top-seeded Gordon Bell and were eliminated.
“We knew what we had to do going into this game and we executed everything very well,” says Saints’ head coach, Bill Marsh. “Our goal was to make it to the championship final and we’re one step closer to that. It’s going to get tougher, obviously, but it’s what we prepared for and we’ve got some things we’re prepared to do depending on the opponent we face.”
The Saints were led by Daniela Zilinska’s 14 points. Erica Lavallee was lights out from the three-point line with three in the first half for 9 points, 11 in total, while Abby Vanstone had 10. The Saints hard, full-court press was too much for the Warriors to handle as they seemed to turn the ball over to the Saints more often than not.
“In a game like this one we get a chance to play the girls evenly, but things are going to tighten up going into the next round as we see stronger opponents,” adds Marsh. “We’ll have a hard practice Tuesday to get ready for Wednesday’s semifinal match.”
The Saints continue their search for WWAC Tier 2 glory Wednesday night in Winnipeg when the girls take on the Kelvin Clippers at Churchill High School.
Trojans eliminated by Panthers
The Trojans left it all on the court but in the end, were out manned and out-played by first-place Gordon Bell. PCI was lucky enough to find a way into the playoffs after dropping their final game of the season to limp into eighth place.
“The season had its ups and downs but the guys never faltered in their efforts to improve and play as a team,” says Janey Bradford, Trojans head coach. “It has been a rewarding experience to watch these players grow into a team. Some have never played while others never stop playing. I know they would love more opportunities to play because it feels like we have so much more to learn.”
The Trojans are losing four players to graduation. Noah Spence, Nic Penner, Jaymar Minty-Dodd, and Jaytey Towle all finished their time with PCI.
“All I can do is applaud the players leaving for all the blood, sweat and tears they have put into this program to represent PCI and their community,” adds Bradford. “Although they leave us as players, they will always be a part of the Trojans family and will be missed.”